Two of DC Comics biggest hitters meet on the big screen for the first time, and they’re immediately put to war with each other.
“The greatest gladiator battle in the history of the world.“
In a tale sprawling with a HUGE amount of plot, does Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice in-fact DO justice to these titans of pop culture?
I got to find out tonight.
HOLY STORY BATMAN!
I knew Director Zack Snyder could do big stories, having previously tackled author Alan Moore‘s epic saga that was Watchmen. But I was not ready for him putting the likes of Batman and Superman on-par with the large amount of story that flowed through Moore’s graphic novel.
An earlier draft from David S. Goyer, the writer for Man Of Steel, has been taken by Chris Terrio and turned into 3 very big acts that place us some time after the events of Superman’s previous film. Presenting the human side of the battle between Superman and Zod in the first act, the film stumbles along at an off-beat pace and then steadily finds its footing, pushing forward into a second act that merges the characters storylines and culminates in an explosive third.
While some of it could be cut away, overall it sets up a universe of characters as best it could and has you see how Snyder is going to have a Director’s Cut that easily goes over the 3 hour mark.
A Selfless Superman
As previously mentioned in my #TeamSuperman article, a lot of people had issue with the carelessness of the Man Of Steel iteration of the character. While I myself had trouble distinguishing between a Superman who has established his role in the world and understands the responsibility that comes with his gifts, Man Of Steel toyed with a man who didn’t understand the cost of his power and I found this to be an interesting analogue to the ‘Son Of Krypton’ we all know.
This film hits that message home harder with a man being constantly faced by the consequence of his actions. Knowing that he has the ability to do great good for the world, some of his actions lead to fallout from members of the public and the Government wanting to rein this ‘God’ in.
And it’s in these moments where he’s dealing with this, that make his actions and choices really shine again.
A Brutal Batman
We all know Batman’s story. An orphaned billionaire who uses his parents death and inheritance to become one of the world’s greatest detectives and heroes.
But what if this Batman didn’t care for restraint when he came to disabling foes in combat?
This movie answers that question brutally.
Regarded to frequently in the lead-up to release, Frank Miller‘s The Dark Knight Returns was often dropped as the key ingredient to the direction of this new Bat.
And they have produced that and more.
This Batman does not have time for your shit villains and if you’re in his way, you’re going through a wall.
And that makes this my favourite Batman yet.
Ben Affleck Was Really Waiting To Be Batman
Ben Affleck steals the show.
He really does.
It’s not an insult to Henry Cavill who again does a good job as the ‘Blue & Red Boy Scout’, but when Affleck is on the screen as Wayne, you are met with a man who is layered in a darkness that drives the demon out.
Absolutely driven by his resolve, his Batman is a Batman you do not want to meet; Because if you do and this Batman tells you that he “will show you fear”, you’ll believe him.
Mr. Luthor’s Wild Ride
I’m not sure how I feel about Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor.
I loved it because it’s the closest Lex we’ve had yet, but the character had a mania to him that is only typically reserved for a Luthor driven mad by loss or some form of drug or poison.
For those who felt this would be a Lex who would end up “Joker-esque”, it is anything but. More similar to Batman’s Riddler in ways, his brilliant and mad mind kind of works.
Only because this Luthor isn’t just set on taking Superman out, but because he wants Batman out too.
The Gadot Show
Always brief in her appearances at first, you find yourself screaming out internally that you need to see Wonder Woman.
We’ve seen Batman on the big screen.
We’ve seen Superman on the big screen.
But c’mon, give us Wonder Woman!
And when it finally happens, you are so ready for Gal Gadot to bring Wonder Woman’s solo film to us.
With trailers that set the world alight purporting to their apparent “leaking of too much detail”, they actually end up being quite minute in their revelation.
Multiple surprises and developments throughout the film come together in a conclusion that dramatically sets up the creation of DC’s shared movie universe and tempers the flame of interest in what comes next for the characters.
With Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL returning to add to the films overall tone with their fantastic score, and visuals that beg to be viewed on IMAX, Batman V Superman plays out much like the film’s title itself:
It may divide, but you’ll find yourself wanting to go back for another piece.
While it's a lot consume and has a shaky first course, Batman V Superman leaves you pretty damn full and satisfied by the end.